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Shrine Jar

A work made of terracotta.

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  • A work made of terracotta.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Yoruba
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

The Yoruba use a convex mold to form the base of a pot and then complete it with coils. This elegant, understated shrine vessel, with its wide mouth and full body that tapers to a soft point at the bottom, is clearly Yoruba in shape. The container’s subtly bowed neck stands in contrast to its rounded shoulder. A ledge marks the meeting of these two forms, from which sharply rendered ribs descend to define deep channels in rhythmic intervals around the body of the vessel. This handsome pot has no representational imagery to indicate the deity it was made to honor; yet wide-mouthed containers are often found on shrines for Sango, the god of thunder and protector of twins, where they support calabashes that hold sacred objects.

—Revised from Kathleen Bickford Berzock, For Hearth and Altar, African Ceramics from the Keith Achepohl Collection (2005), pp. 110-111.

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Culture

Yoruba

Title

Shrine Jar

Origin

Nigeria

Date

Made 1875–1925

Medium

Terracotta

Dimensions

27.9 x 36.2 cm (11 x 14 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Keith Achepohl

Reference Number

2005.241

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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